10:19 GMT02 July 2020
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    The coronavirus pandemic has hastened a strategic shift the company was already making – moving away from the high street as more and more sales and customer inquiries were taking place online or over the phone.

    Virgin Media’s 53 high street stores will not reopen after the coronavirus pandemic lockdown ends, the Guardian reports. 

    The cable and TV company will instead offer alternative newly created roles to 341 affected staff.

    The majority of roles will be in customer care, with 300 new roles created, and will be based permanently at home, a decision Virgin Media has taken because of the success of its call centre staff moving to a working-from-home environment during the lockdown. 50 further roles in field sales will also be created.

    “We are focused on delivering the service customers want, in the ways they want it and at a time and place that suits them,” Rob Orr, an executive director for sales at Virgin Media told the Guardian. “By creating new jobs in our most popular care and sales channels, we will be better able to provide our customers with the top service and support they rightly expect while retaining our talented workforce.”

    The company which employs 12,000 people is in the early stages of a mega merger with mobile operator O2, to create a new TV, broadband and mobile powerhouse to challenge BT and Sky. 

    In March, Virgin Media moved to employ 500 new call centre staff in the UK over concerns that the outsourcing of customer calls to offshore workers in countries including India and the Philippines could be interrupted by the spread of the virus.

    Virgin Media has also moved to directly hire 700 engineers, most of whom were working for the cable company but employed by third-party businesses, to ensure it had the staff numbers to continue to carry out home visits, including installations and repairs. 



    COVID-19, retail stores, Virgin Media
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